Articles on Indigenous art

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In The Boys Home, artist Zanny Begg worked with boys in juvenile detention. This image is from a project titled Rooms. Photo documentation by Alex Wisser. The Boys Home

The Boys Home: making art in a juvenile detention centre

I entered the secretive world of a maximum-security prison for children in Sydney’s Western suburbs for four months earlier this year. My passport into this highly restrictive world was an artist residency…
Artists Dianne Ungukalpi Golding, Eunice Yunurupa Porter, Nancy Jackson, Winnie Woods and Melva Davies at Tjanpi Desert Weavers workshop, Warakurna, April 2011. Photo Jo Foster, Tjanpi Desert Weavers, NPY Women’s Council

The Tjanpi Desert Weavers show us that traditional craft is art

For over a thousand generations Aboriginal people made no distinction between art and craft. Art was, and still is, a way of life and as much about function as it is about beauty and form. Artistic forms…
Major galleries are clamouring to acquire works by Aurukun artists – especially paintings by Mavis Ngallametta. Bush Fire at Ngak-Pungarichan, 2013. Natural ochres and charcoal with acrylic binder on linen, 200x271cm. Martin Browne Gallery

Mavis Ngallametta is causing a quiet stampede in the art market

Over the past three and a half years nearly every major public and private art collection in Australia has acquired large-scale paintings by a north Queensland artist from the Aboriginal community of Aurukun…
The question of how to verify Indigenous rock art lies at the heart of an environmental dispute in the Blue Mountains. Ashley Wilson

Is it a fake? The tricky business of authenticating rock art

This week, The Australian reported that a hand stencil found in a controversial coal mining development in the Blue Mountains was a “fake”. The story has also been reported by the BBC and was picked up…
Pirnirni by Amy Nuggett. * Amy Nuggett

Ngurntakura Wangki: working together to tell a story

We are driving late at night along a highway that crosses the remote Kimberley region of northern Western Australia. We are in an area known as the Fitzroy Valley, about 3,500 kilometres north of Perth…
Lily Hargreaves Nungarrayi, 2013, Wardilyka Jukurrpa (Bush Turkey, Ardeotis Australis Dreaming) synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 200.0 x 300.0 cm. © the artist, courtesy of Warnayaka Art Centre Lajamanu, and Vivien Anderson Gallery Melbourne

Clever women: three Warlpiri artists, now in Melbourne

This unconventional review of an exhibition, Jinjilngali, Kurlukuku Minpiya, Yirdingali, now on show at the Vivien Anderson Gallery in Melbourne, also constitutes a tribute to three Warlpiri women artists…
Nura Rupert, Australia, c.1933. Pitjantjatjara people, South Australia, Mamu (Spooky spirits) 2006, Ernabella, South Australia, synthetic polymer paint on linen 92x122cm. Ed and Sue Tweddell Fund for South Australian Contemporary Art 2006. Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide © Nura Rupert, courtesy of Ernabella Arts

‘Dreamings’ and place – Aboriginal monsters and their meanings

A rich inventory of monstrous figures exists throughout Aboriginal Australia. The specific form that their wickedness takes depends to a considerable extent on their location. In the Australian Central…

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